Daily Cinema Digest – Monday 2 June 2014

By Patrick von Sychowski | June 2, 2014 4:43 am PDT
Farewell my concubine opera

“Farewell My Concubine” had its global premiere yesterday at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles; the first ever Chinese 3D opera in Atmos to be shown in cinemas.

Yesterday, appears on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles of a particular landscape, held annually Oscars Dolby theater entrance a few meters of the opera “Farewell My Concubine” eye-catching posters, many pedestrians stopped to watch, even passing The open-top bus passengers have also picked up a camera on Mengpai. China’s first 3D opera film “Farewell My Concubine” overseas premiere was held last night at “the temple” of the Oscars. Dolby Executive Vice President Andy said, “this is not only the first Chinese film premiere held here, it is also the film’s first country outside the United States premiere to be held here.”  LINK

Farewell my Concubine Q&A

Co-star Shi Yihong agrees the whole experience was new and exciting.

“As a Peking Opera performer, being a part of a film is very interesting for me, especially in this amazing 3D project,” Shi Yihong said.

The film is being shown in the US as part of celebrations to mark the 35th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and the US.

It’s hoped that the combination of a 200-year-old Peking Opera and modern 3D technology can help American people better understand Chinese Culture.  LINK

Beijing multiplex

Meanwhile back in China the WSJ has taken note of the growth in fraud at the box office (previously covered extensively here at CJ).

“Though the recent regulations have helped to clean up the market, the problem still exists at cinemas outside major cities,” said Gao Jun, former deputy general manager of Beijing Xinyinglian Film Co., a theater chain with about 100 cinemas nationwide.

Mr. Gao, who is now chairman of the Guosheng Pictures (Beijing) Co., said theater chains want to help solve the problem too, because when the cinemas keep the illegal earnings, it hurts the parent company’s revenue.

Some in the industry also point to rising rents as part of the problem.

“China’s film industry shouldn’t have to pay for the over-the-top prices in China’s property market,” said Mr. Suo. “This is a problem that the government needs to address.”  LINK


PVR Cinema

India – PVR’s quarterly figures are in and over all they are good, with profits up three to four per cent. The company plans to add 70 screens this year and expects to grow revenue by 20%, with F&B and advertising continuing to grow.

Multiplex operator PVR Ltd reported consolidated net profit of Rs 74 lakh for the quarter ended March 31. It had reported net profit of Rs 11.72 crore in the same quarter of the previous fiscal, 2012-13, PVR said in a BSE filing. The company said the results are not comparable with that of last financial year due to the acquisition of Cinemax India in January 2013. Net sales during the fourth quarter of FY’14 stood at Rs 313.87 crore as compared to Rs 236.23 crore in the year-ago period.  LINK


Back to the future II

UK – The theme for the next Secret Cinema has been revealed [Ed: How exactly is that ‘secret’ in that case?]. It seems that they have taken a leaf from the playbook of SAWA and this year’s Cannes Lions.

Key scenes from Back to the Future will be recreated at a secret location in London this summer for epic screenings of the time travel movie.

Organisers of the next production in the Secret Cinema presents… brand will build the entire town of Hill Valley, California, where teenager Marty McFly, as originally played by Michael J Fox, embarked on his dramatic journey from 1985 back 30 years to when his parents were young.

A time machine modelled – like that in the film – on a DeLorean DMC-12 will be on hand to help transport audiences between the different time zones through secret alleys and entrances to the town.  LINK


AMC Burbank 16

USA (CA) – The cinema that has been Hollywood studio’s test bed for more digital cinema trials than I’ve had hot breakfasts wants to be allowed to serve alcohol. Don’t let the engineers near the beer!

Leawood, Kan.-based AMC Theatres, the nation’s second largest theater chain, plans to serve beer and other alcohol at its multiplex in Burbank.

The AMC Burbank 16 on May 23 applied for a license to serve alcohol at one of the busiest theater locations in the Los Angeles area. The permit, which is pending with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, would allow AMC to open a bar for theater patrons.

“We are exploring all of our options at AMC Burbank, and the licensing of alcohol is one of the steps we consider to assist us in making the best, appropriate business decision,” said Ryan Noonan, spokesman for AMC Theatres.  LINK

Kingswood cinema

USA (TX) – Quick thinking and emergency training prevented a possible tragedy at a ShowBix Cinema multiplex. But what type of candy was it?

Right before the movie was set to start, Amstutz noticed his friend stood up and seemed to be pointing.

At first, Amstutz thought his friend was motioning that he was going to use the restroom but then he noticed the friend was pointing at his throat to tell him he was choking on a piece of candy.

“I immediately realized that my friend was choking,” Amstutz said. “I stepped over my wife and his daughter to start the Heimlich maneuver to try and dislodge the piece of candy. It took about seven to eight thrusts before the candy was able to be dislodged from his throat just as he was starting to lose consciousness. It was very scary and traumatic especially since I also have a daughter that is around my friend’s daughter’s age.”  LINK

Law & Order

USA (MD) – Calling this a ‘prank’ might be something of an under statement. These were fully working crude bombs. Fortunately nobody was injured.

A 20-year-old man was arrested during the weekend for a series of dangerous pranks that led to the evacuation of several movie theaters in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs of Washington, authorities said.

Manuel Joyner was arrested in his home in Bowie, Md., and charged in relation to a prank and evacuation in a theater in Largo, Md., on May 24, Prince George’s County fire officials said.

The theater was evacuated when someone used a device described as a “bottle bomb,” in which an acid and a base are combined inside a sealed plastic bottle, causing it to explode.  LINK

Regent Lyme Regis cinema

UK – Burglars have target a jewelery store and the cinema in the English south coast beach town of Lyme Regis.

And the front doors of Lyme Regis Cinema were forced open in a burglary overnight between Tuesday, May 27 and Wednesday 28.

The cinema manager said: “Luckily we don’t keep any large amounts of cash on the premises overnight, so the offender has not gotten away with very much.”  LINK

Pop-up Cinema

Kino Perla Poland

Poland – We interrupt our Open Air Cinemas moratorium to bring you news from Poland where a chain of no less than a dozen screens operates this summer.

On June 6 in Opole will be the first show of the open-air cinema Pearl – the largest such network of cinemas in the country. From that day on every weekend at the premises on the Isle of Laba Bolek will be held screenings of various movies. Opole is one of the 12 cities in which Cinemas Pearla will be screening films this summer.

The first film shown in the cycle will be “Locke” by Steven Knight, Tom Hardy in the lead role. A day later, on Saturday, June 7, wider audience for the first time will be able to see the long-awaited animated version of “Wilq Negotiator”. The show will be accompanied by a review of Polish Animation.  LINK

China drive-in cinema

China – More drive-in cinemas are cropping up all over China. Not sure Google Translate got the name of this one completely right. And why are there two screens?

Big production! Jimmy cards paternity car Film Festival opens a new viewing mode of the first film festival Mai card paternity car developed in June 2 at 19:00 pm West Area Planning Exhibition Square kicked off. An oasis in a big open space, 16 * 9 meters of the giant movie screen, every screening hundreds of parking spaces, clear dream large movie screen, Jimmy cards paternity automotive theater as moviegoers provide the most comfortable and cozy atmosphere viewing shocking and most perfect visual effect, regardless of the audience’s car parked at the venue which position in the car can enjoy the giant screen blockbusters.


NEC laser projector

USA – NEC is trumpeting its blue-laser illuminate projector passing the DCI compliance test. It is small and compact as well, but probably still not cheap.

NEC Display Solutions of America has announced Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) compliance for its NC1100L and NC1040L laser projectors, the latest models in its Digital Cinema Projector Series. Both the “NP-NC1100L-A” and “NP-NC1040L-A” have earned compliance on DCI Compliant Equipment – the first as Laser Digital Cinema projectors.

The test was completed by the Research Institute for Digital Media and Content (DMC) at Keio University in Japan, one of three entities licensed by Digital Cinema Initiatives, LLC to perform the Compliance Test Plan (CTP) tests. All NEC digital cinema projectors, including the NC900C, NC1200C, NC2000C, NC3200S and NC3240S, have been certified in:  LINK

Event Cinema

Cines Unidos

Venezuela – World Cup fans in Venezuela will be able to catch games at their local cinema.

Venezuela’s network Meridiano is gearing up for the World Cup. The channel will offer some matches free-to-air, the whole championship on pay-TV through Movistar TV and, thanks to a deal with Cines Unidos, will also broadcast matches in cinemas across the country.

The matches will also be shown on public screens, which will be installed throughout the capital Caracas. The distribution agreement with Telefónica’s pay-TV platform and the country’s largest cinema company will make it possible to broadcast the World Cup in HD in 60 theatres in Venezuela’s 11 largest cities.  LINK


UK – Sing-a-long for Disney’s Frozen? Just the trick to lure parents who haven’t seen/heard the film enough back into the cinema.

What did the real target audience make of it?

Well, how do you think a bunch of kids enjoyed not only watching their favourite film AND being able to make noise in a cinema….

Let’s say it was wonderfully raucous and they all had a lot of fun.

So to coin I phrase that seems to be rattling around my head at the moment, I suggest you “let it go” and try and get to the many cinemas showing it in sing-a-long format. Or check it out online, complete with lyrics….

Digital Death Watch

Rice logo

USA (TX) – Rice University has been screening art-house and international films for 45 years. Thankfully they can now continue to do so.

Now, the Rice Media Center’s screening facility is receiving a state-of-the-art upgrade. The cinema will close this summer for the installation of a high-quality digital cinema projection system. The center received university capital budget improvement funds to purchase the projector.

“Basically every theater in the world is in the process of converting to this system or going out of business,” said Charles Dove, director of Rice Cinema, professor in the practice and film program director in the School of Humanities’ Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts. “There are not a lot of other options. It’s a computer-driven projection system. There’s no physical film, there’s no disk of any kind.”

The new projector will be installed alongside the existing 16- and 35-millimeter projectors and play a critical role in sustaining and expanding the cinema’s mission in an age where films on reels are soon to be archaic, Dove said.  LINK

Movie Zone closed

South Africa – A book club steps in to try to fill the void created by the closure of the local cinema.

Movie lovers still depressed by the closing of Cinema Zone are in for a treat. Cinemas have historically struggled to survive in Grahamstown and this was reason enough to inspire four members of the ‘Grahamstown Book club’ to create a space where films can air without the danger of being shut down. This newfound endeavour, the Film Club, opened its doors on 16 May at the St Andrews College.

Like many people in Grahamstown, the club members found going to the movies an enjoyable pastime where you could leave your life outside the doors and enjoy the big screen.“The Grahamstown Book club agreed that we should start a film club as we all really missed being able to go to the movies,” explained founder, Elysoun Ross.  LINK

Cinema Competition Madness

Bolton cinema wars

UK – The fact that Bolton isn’t big enough for two multiplexes can apparently not be taken into consideration when reviewing individual planning applications, “even if it means the success of both schemes is put in jeopardy.”

BOLTON is only big enough for one town centre cinema, council officers have admitted ahead of a crunch planning meeting.

But they have recommended that councillors approve Crompton Place’s plans for an 11-screen cinema — despite the fact work will start on a nine-screen cinema in Market Place in the next few weeks.

The rival shopping centres both submitted applications to build a cinema in a bid to bring more families into their businesses in the evenings.  LINK

Demolition Crown House Corby Vue

UK – More sanity in Corby, where demolition work has stopped on the site of the proposed Vue cinema?

For months workers have been at the site in Elizabeth Street where Crown House has been demolished and work to knock down the multi-storey car park was due to start in September.

Tens of thousands of pounds have already been spent on preparing the area for the eight-screen cinema, but the project stalled last month when a planning application was deferred.

The move followed concerns raised by Mulberry Developments over the impact the Vue cinema would have on its six-screen complex now being built in George Street.  LINK

It is noted that “Legal advice to the council said that if, instead of two cinemas it was two supermarkets being considered, it would be natural for each company to address the effect of the other on viability.” Du-oh!

Cinema Opening/Closings


UK – London’s new Imax cinema opened in the refurbished Empire Leicester Square last Friday. Watch the video above if you want ot learn about the technology behind it.

Empire Cinemas and IMAX Corporation confirmed today that the eagerly awaited IMAX® screen in the famous flagship cinema, The Empire Leicester Square, will open to the public from Friday 30 May 2014 with Tom Cruise’s futuristic sci-fi thriller, Edge of Tomorrow: An IMAX 3D Experience.

With IMAX screens in some of the most iconic locations in the world, the West End will join this exclusive list and cinemagoers can finally see red carpet premieres of IMAX films at Empire Leicester Square. The historic Empire Leicester Square, the site of some of the UK’s most prestigious film premieres since its opening in 1884, will now provide West End moviegoers the world’s most immersive cinematic experience as well as host unforgettable film premieres.  LINK

Moscow Kino Kosmos

Russia – One of Moscow’s most venerable old cinemas is set to re-open after an extensive refurb.

The fifty-year-old Kosmos (or space) will become the central stage for a network of Moscow Cinema movies houses and also the venue of special events such as festivals, cinema forums, first nights and retrospective runs, the press service of the Moscow culture department said.

The movie house located on Prospect Mira is equipped with modern digital projection equipment capable of maintaining a 3D format. The number of seats in the hall has increased to 600. Despite all these novelties, the Moscow culture department promised that prices for tickets were not going to be high.  LINK

Greenock Waterfront Cinema

UK (Scotland) – Greenock’s Waterfront Cinema has completed a £300,000 improvements programme that includes digital projection capability.

The money has been invested over the last two years by owners West Coast Cinemas, including installing 3D projection equipment.

The four-hall cinema sold 86,000 tickets in 2013, and this year hopes to encourage even more people through the doors.

A total of 12 full and part-time staff keep the screens running from 12.30 to 10.30pm every day.  LINK

Colchester Odeon

UK – Sad to see such a gorgeous cinema closed but at least the developers appreciate its architecture and intend to preserve it.

THE man behind plans to rejuvenate Colchester’s old Odeon cinema has insisted his is the only viable scheme.

Ross Carroll, of developer Amdev 101, last week applied for planning permission to convert the building into three shops and seven apartments.

Although the former cinema would be partly demolished, the Thirties Art Deco facade, which dominates Crouch Street, would be preserved. If the go-ahead is given, work could start as soon as this autumn.  LINK

Mudgee's Regent Theatre

Australia – Mudgee’s historic Regent Cinema has been sold, having been closed since 2009. Let’s hope the new owner can afford the AUS $4.7 million it’s been estimated that it will cost to bring it up to standard and re-open it as a cinema.

After years on the market, the disused Regent Theatre was finally sold to new owners late last week.

The news was announced on The Property Shop’s Facebook page on Thursday with a picture of the Regent Theatre captioned with the words “We’ve sold it!”.

Comments quickly rolled in from interested locals who were all wondering if the local landmark would return to its roots and reopen as a theatre or if the new owners had other plans for the building.  LINK


World's second best cinema

Total Film has published a list of the 30 Greatest Cinemas in the World. “Yawn, another listicle,” you might say. But this list is quite good, informed and global. Who can argue with cinemas like Szczecins Kino Pionier (#9), Paris’ Le Gran Rex (#7), Oslo’s Colloseum Kino (# 12) and my own local cinema is even in the #27. Which one is Numero Uno, you ask. You will have to browse through it yourself. Instead we leave you with the runner up. Any obvious oversight, do please tell us in the Comments section below.


The Archipelago Cinema

Where that? Yao Noi, Thailand

Why We Want to Go There: Because it’s a floating cinema. A cinema that floats. Just off a tropical island. Who cares what’s even showing.

Patrick von Sychowski
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